Joe The Plumber Does PPC

Share with:

I know I’m not the only one writing about this, but it’s too much fun to pass up: All the buzz over Joe the Plumber from Wednesday’s presidential debate has spilled over online in a very interesting way. Since lots of writers are covering the Google Trends aspect, I wanted to comment on the PPC side.

Before I get into that, let me say that, as most of you know, this thing is evolving and will continue to evolve. I’m reporting on what I’m seeing in my office in Michigan on Friday, October 17 – not to be confused with what I may see tomorrow, or what any of you might be seeing right now! Isn’t search great that way?!?

Anyway… here is a screen capture of my search on “joe the plumber”:
The ads are all brilliant (even if I don’t agree with all of them, wink wink). At the top is the GOP. Good for them – they’re promoting their online poll and the ad copy really encourages people to join in the conversation. Great social media angle – points for that. Too bad whoever is doing their PPC doesn’t know how to use keyword insertion properly! Sorry, gotta give you a point deduction for an ad title without a single capital letter.

Then there is John McCain’s site. Whoever Senator McCain is using for his SEM has been doing a great job throughout the campaign of getting relevant ads onto a wide variety of searches. Big points to you, McCain’s SEM! Interestingly, despite all the hype about McCain conceding Michigan to Obama and stopping ads here, they’ve obviously got a geo-targeted PPC campaign still running. Not a bad strategy – if indeed it is a strategy, and not just an oversight.

Oh, and McCain’s SEM? You lose points for not using keyword insertion correctly either.

Following the McCain ad is an ad for Network Solutions that appears, at first glance, to be totally irrelevant. That is, until you read in the news that the guy who owns the domain has been offered up to $800,000 for his domain. Pretty sneaky, Network Solutions! Bonus points for creativity.

Of course, Barack Obama’s SEM can’t let McCain get all the attention, so next you’ll find a brilliantly worded ad for Obama’s campaign. Well done! Bonus points for correct usage of keyword insertion.

Finally, no liquid-hot search would be complete without the totally irrelevant PPC ad. Today’s contestant is Holiday Autos, with a non-sequiter ad for international getaway cars. Huh?? How did that get there? Points to them for getting visibility on “joe the plumber;” major point deduction to Google for actually allowing this ad to appear.

So there you have it. I’d like to thank today’s contestants for playing. Come back in an hour, when a new cast of PPC ads will undoubtedly be running…

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts


  1. Catching up on old links to my blog. Thanks for the kind words on McCain’s SEM and that was me. BTW – we do know how to use KI, but our results showed that small caps worked better for us than using proper caps


  2. Hey Eric, thanks for your comment! Very interesting – I had not thought to test using all lower case KI vs. proper case. Usually when I see this it indicates an inexperienced SEM, which I know you are not. 😉 Thanks again for reading! -Melissa

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.